Sunday, 1 June 2014

Sunshine from Beneath the Sea

Polpetto & Insalata Mista alla Griglia
Grilled Baby Octopus & Salad from the Grill


It was a wonderful day today, but still, somehow the sun didn't quite manage to work the magic that it did yesterday- sigh! Well, that to me meant that there was only one thing for it... I would have to create a little sunshine of my own!

I think I did a pretty good job... what do you all think?


A salad on its own would not quite have been enough this evening and yet I had planned to make something "light" and healthy...

So I decided to stick to my guns and take a peek at what my freezer had to offer- and there is was! Ready to be turned into something yummy and just the right sized for a single serving, this baby octopus was just perfect! And totally delicious!


So, in addition to the octopus, I used a half of a fennel bulb, a good handful of arugula, 5-6 cherry tomatoes, 4-5 radishes, 4-5 mild green peppers and a couple of apricots... which is a pretty weird combo, it's true!


The thing that made this so cool was that I popped a few of the salad ingredients onto the grill too and gave them a whole new dimension of of yumminess... oh yes! Try it- you'll see!

I cut the peppers in half and removed the seeds, cut the apricots into quarters and cut the radishes into very fine slices.

The fennel was also very finely sliced, and with that the prep work was done.

I began cooking the octopus by boiling it in advance for 10-15 minutes and then allowing it to cool whilst I got on with the rest.


To assemble the salad, working from the bottom up, you need to first lay out the arugula, generously and then the radishes on top.

I drizzled everything with a little lemon juice and olive oil, sprinkled it with salt and pepper... and then popped my griddle pan onto the stove top to start getting nice and hot!


Next came the peppers, which I first scorched and grilled on the griddle pan for 4-5 minutes from each side...


...and the next thing to go onto the pan was the apricots, which needed just 2 minutes on each side to get their nice scorch-marks and to soften and sweeten at the same time.


Next came the octopus, which I cut into smaller pieces and frazzled at the highest heat on the griddle pan with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and chili flakes.

As soon as the octopus was crispy and browned-off, I set it to one side and set the halved cherry tomatoes, onto the pan with the cut-side down, for 1-2 minutes to also gently scorch and become sweeter.

...swiftly followed by the octopus, a generous sprinkle of fennel greens, the juice of half a lemon and a nice trickle of olive oil... yummy!


The great contrast of the juicy fruits, the tangy peppers and the crispy octopus in combination with the crispy radish, fennel and arugula down below made this into a pretty wonderful meal! It really had everything you could want, all right there on one colorful plate!


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